the story of a reluctant grown-up

Instant, Schminstant. I’m eating ice cream.

There is a show that I currently watch one episode at a time, as though catching it on the Internet after the fact wasn’t an option. I watched the first two seasons on Netflix, marathon-style. I had fun living the storyline in fast motion, but I felt a massive letdown when the end of season two came around and the roller coaster ride came to an end. I tried to get in to other, similar shows and movies. None of them were good enough to keep my interest, and I was disappointed. Not many of my friends share this feeling, and I am often asked why I don’t just stream the rest of the show from somewhere unauthorized.

I have a really tough time explaining why I refuse to illegally obtain my media without sounding like a pretentious jerk. It’s a strange issue to have, because I can’t think of another time when I would need to defend myself for refusing to break the law. What it really boils down to for me is this: I believe in paying for art. The content creators pour their heart and soul into what they create. In A/V media, there are so many hands at work on the way to producing a finished product – it’s an industry with huge overhead and often little return. I like to feel that I am at least contributing something. I was once told that I did not take a vow of poverty when I decided to become a musician. It’s some of the best advice I have ever been given, is not limited to musicians, and at its core means that what we do as content creators has value. Why shouldn’t I pay for something valuable? I can’t come up with any good reasons. If an artist puts their media out for free purposely, that’s one thing…if an unauthorized person does the same, it’s another thing entirely.

Back to my original feeling of letdown: I’m trying to fight my learned desire for instant gratification. I think waiting for something simple (the next installment of a show) is good practice for real life, and it’s something lacking in our always-on digital age. I didn’t see value in it before, but I’m happier now than I have ever been. It might also be because I have found an hour once a week that I can watch this one show, eat ice cream, and do something that doesn’t involve being terribly anxious about what I’m not attending to because I’m sitting down for hours watching shows. It’s actually kind of nice. I have a theory: if I watch a show an episode at a time and experience it at a normal pace, the letdown won’t be so bad when it’s time to wait for the next season to begin. We’ll see how it all works out in practice. So far, so good.

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The very first time I stepped on stage…

I’m currently working on something top secret time-consuming awesome. As part of this, I am reminded of the very first time I got onstage (with functional microphone) to sing a solo in front of people.

Performing is something I do frequently in one capacity or another. As a teacher, I need to demonstrate techniques I’m trying to impart to my students. I emphasize the importance of taking baby steps and just getting over that first hurdle of performing for a group, but sometimes I forget how it really feels. I remember the sheer terror of the moment – the Winter Week Variety Show. I was seventeen, visibly uncomfortable in my own skin, and really scared that everyone would laugh at me. I could not believe I had put myself in the position of singing for people. The first few frames of video, I look like I might cry.
Until I watched the video back tonight, I had completely forgotten how sweet and forgiving the audience was. While onstage, I made ALL the mistakes. I messed up some words. I interpreted the melody a little more creatively than was warranted. During the solo on my backing track, I just stood there looking terrified. I sang the start of the second verse again in place of the third…then I stopped, got myself situated, and finished out the third verse with the correct lyrics.
My audience didn’t appear to mind any of this. They cheered me on and encouraged me every time I came to a break. They whooped and hollered and clapped…and I didn’t do a thing to deserve it except stop being quiet for half a second and sing out. The audience’s enthusiasm and positive energy gave me the courage to actually move around a little onstage. The warm reception I received convinced me to try out for the spring musical a few weeks later, and you know what? I made it in. Sang a solo to the back of the packed house without a microphone. I ended up studying music in college, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I feel like I owe a lot of it to my very first audience…so thanks, wherever you are!

The moral of the story? Go for your dream. Take risks. Do what you love and don’t be afraid to fail. If you’re in that audience, show the performer some love. Who knows where it might lead?

Gratitude and Awe

I have an incredible opportunity this weekend. Probably Definitely the biggest of my life thus far. It could open a whole lot of doors for the years to come, and I have been preparing like crazy for months. I’m really excited, a little bit overwhelmed, and most importantly I am incredibly grateful to be here. There is no way I could have done this on my own, and I had a lot of help to make this possible. I’m being intentionally vague…but I just caught a glimpse of the stage setup and it’s AMAZING. This whole place is, actually. Just beautiful.

Bottom line? I am full of awe at this opportunity. I had to say thank you, even if I’m not allowed to discuss who I’m thanking specifically.

Now I’m off to go take in the weekend and do my best to watch my hard work (hopefully) pay off.

Rock on.

Eyyyyyyyy guuurrrllll.

 

 

 

That is all.

Step into my office…

 

 

This is my office classroom. Well, one view of one of its walls. It’s cute and small and bright. Featuring prominently? The big musical whiteboard!

 

No note today, just a view from my everyday life.

A note from the corkboard

I haven’t been posting very often lately. It’s mostly because I’ve been pulling myself six different directions at once, and most of my thoughts barely make sense to ME…can’t imagine trying to collect them in a way others will understand.

 

But here: A note from the whiteboard, corkboard edition. I found this when I was at my alma mater for a rehearsal a couple weeks ago. A large, colorful HI from me to you!


I uploaded a whole bunch of whiteboard notes to my media gallery tonight. Hopefully that will entice me to actually post some of them. The kidlets are just so darn creative. They are fabulous.

 

Happy Friday!

Cold Weather Clothes

 

 

It’s been kind of chilly lately. I got Moya a new top for winter, and the great news is that it doesn’t rain inside my car anymore! The other great news should be that it doesn’t snow inside my car anymore. It’s only logical. But until it snows, I won’t know for sure and so I can’t say. So far, though, this new top is all that AND a bag of chips.

The Jolly Roger tire cover is pretty sweet, too.

 

In case you’re wondering (uncompensated shameless plug), I got the Rampage Bowless Frameless XHD Soft Top. I highly recommend it. The windows are ENORMOUS…and they store in a bag right inside the top! I usually leave them home, though. They are really easy to install and remove, and the profile is a little lower. This top feels less like driving a tent than my old traditional style top. It was also a great deal. If you’re looking for a new soft top, you should definitely check this one out.

It’s supposed to be nice this weekend. I might take the windows out again, temporarily 🙂 I have a lot of driving to do…gotta get the wind in my hair while the getting’s good!

 

In other news, next stop: new tires. Yeesh.